Main Event of the Weekend (main PPV card)
Welcome to the first ever Main Event of the Weekend! Before we dive in, I am afcangelo (FULHAMERICA_FC on DK). Admittedly, yes I haven’t been an MMA junkie for very long (going on about a year and change now), but what I lack in years I think I make up for in enthusiasm and passion for the sport. I started out watching UFC and MMA as somewhat of a part time hobby, thanks to what else DFS! Draftkings started putting up MMA tournaments, and I’ve missed very few since and have tried to absorb and learn as much about the sport as possible. Fight Pass is a huge, huge part of my arsenal and should be in yours as well. The ability to watch almost any fight from the past, at anytime is massive. Anyway enough with the formalities, thanks for reading and let’s get to it!
(UFC Heavyweight Championship)
Stipe Miocic © 10k v. Alistair Overeem 9.6k
STRENGTH: 4 out of 5 stars
On my list of most anticipated fights of the year, this one ranks up there with Conor/Nate 2 for me. The new beast of the octagon that is Stipe Miocic gets to take on one of the all time greats in MMA in his own backyard, and for the HW strap! To sum this up in only 2 words. Cannot. Wait. I said earlier this week that I think Stipe is one of the top heavyweights in the world, and I stand by that. The only problem here is that IMO I feel like he’s fighting either the 2nd or even THE best heavyweight in the UFC. Look I love Stipe, I do. I had him pegged to take the belt from Werdum like many others, and was right! He can stand and scrap with anyone from the looks of it and he’s at home this weekend! What could go wrong right? Cleveland or no Cleveland, Alistair Overeem is an absolute monster, and his fight IQ is right up there with the best, and from what I’ve seen lately, it and his stand up game both have only improved. This is a guy who has more career fights than anybody in the UFC, and he’s truly seen it all. Stipe has great cardio for a big guy, but in order to use that he’s going to have to get the fight to the championship rounds, and I’m not sure he’ll be able to do that. I’m not saying Alastair can’t go into the late rounds, but I know Stipe can. Overeem is one of the most under rated fighters around as far as fight IQ, and I think one word is going to sum up Overeem’s gameplan: Feint. Feint, feint some more and then feint again and see what Stipe does, react and repeat. Unless Overeem gasses out, which I really don’t see happening, the only way I see Stipe getting his hand raised early on is a very close range right hand KO similarly to how he won the belt from Werdum. The thing with that is, Overeem is much smarter and I don’t think he rushes in the way Fabricio did (twice!). Alistair Overeem has held gold in almost every fight organization he’s fought in (K1, Strikeforce, Dream) and I think Saturday is the day he realizes his ultimate dream of being UFC Heavyweight champ, he has so many weapons, and at a good price of 9600, I’m fairly certain Overeem will be a majority of my lineups come fight night.
PREDICTION: Overeem by KO/TKO in Rd 2
Fabricio Werdum 10.7k v. Travis Browne 8.7k
STRENGTH: 5 out of 5 stars
Okay, I’m probably going to take some heat and criticism for this (if this thing even gets read!) but if there was one fight that I am “planting my flag” on so to speak, this is it. Fabricio Werdum was very recently being hailed by some as possibly the greatest UFC Heavyweight champion ever, he went out lost in somewhat embarrassing fashion (again, he rushed in TWICE!!) to current champion Stipe Miocic and now he’s fighting IMO an aging and declining Travis Browne supposedly to earn another shot at the belt he held for a very short period of time after beating Cain in Mexico. Browne has only won 2 fights in the last 2.5 years, and those have come against a slightly above mediocre Matt Mitrione, and Brendan Schaub, who I love his podcast but he doesn’t fight anymore, and there’s a reason. Other than that, Browne has lost in spectacular fashion to an aging Andrei Arlovski, was demolished at 200 by Cain, and if it weren’t for a very dramatic and sudden turn of events, would have also lost in devastating fashion to IMO new HW champion Alistair Overeem. In short, Browne’s time is over. Not to mention you can argue that his heads not really in it anymore, throw in the resume of Edmund Tarverdyan (outside of the great Ronda Rousey), and you have a formula for an early finish for a former Heavyweight champion very hungry to get back to the top of the division. Fabricio Werdum at 10.7k is going to be a staple of my GPP lineups this weekend.
PREDICTION: Fabricio Werdum by Submission in Rd 1/2
CM Punk 8k v. Mickey Gall 11.4k
WEIGHT: Welterweight 170lbs
STRENGTH: 4 out of 5 stars
Two things stand out when breaking this fight down, CM Punk is only 8k on Draftkings, and Mickey Gall is the most expensive fighter on the entire card at 11.4k. Mickey Gall is the most expensive fighter on the entire card. Just making sure you know. This fight is a spectacle, but it’s one the public definitely has their eye on. CM Punk making not only his UFC but MMA debut against IMO a pretty solid up and comer in Mickey Gall. Gall may only have 1 UFC fight to his record, and it was against a cameraman and a walkover and all these other things but he does have MMA experience on the amateur circuits. Now granted that doesn’t say much, but Gall has been practicing BJJ since he was 16, boxing since 13, this kid is a fighter, it’s what he does, it’s what he wants to do. CM Punk is not. At least not yet, and even though he’s had a full year if not more with Duke Roufus, he still has no real fight experience and you just cannot convince me that Punk is going to have success in this fight. Gall is pretty well versed with submissions, and that’s how I expect this fight to end, and once again (trend here?) relatively quickly. I think Punk finds himself in a compromising situation, very possibly a takedown, and I think Gall locks in an early submission to try and start making a name for himself in the top flight of MMA. 11.4k is a lot for anyone, much less an unproven prospect, but this time at least for me, it makes a lot of sense.
PREDICTION: Mickey Gall by Submission in Rd 1
Urijah Faber 9.7k v. Jimmie Rivera 9.7k
WEIGHT: Bantamweight 145lbs
STRENGTH: 2 out of 5 stars
Faber is coming off a pretty decisive 5 round decision loss to current 135 champ Dominic Cruz. A lot, including myself felt that Faber would fade into retirement shortly after losing the 3rd part of the trilogy, but here The California Kid is. Jimmie Rivera is 19-1 and is coming off a unanimous decision win against a dangerous Iuri Alcantara. Even though Faber is on the decline, he can still scrap, and he still has that fight IQ that comes with a 33-9 record. For DFS purposes though, this is a fight I’ll most likely be avoiding because Faber usually grinds his fights out and lately has been winning decisions when his hand does get raised, usually in 3 round fights. Also, Faber isn’t exactly the highest output striker with just a 2.62 SPM. Rivera on the other hand does boast an impressive 4.96 SPM, however also holds a 68% decision win rate. This fight just doesn’t appeal to me from a DFS perspective, and I’m not saying that Faber can’t earn lock in a submission in the 2nd or 3rd, but I think the most likely scenario is a decision win, along with a somewhat underwhelming significant strike count.
PREDICTION: Urijah Faber by decision.
Jessica Andrade 9.9k v. Joanna Calderwood 9.5k
WEIGHT: Women’s Strawweight 115 lbs
STRENGTH: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Okay it’s probably a cop out giving another .5 star to this fight but that’s honestly how I feel. On one hand I really like Andrade since dropping down to 115, it was only one fight but she looked fantastic against Jessica Penne (117 SS and a merciful 2nd rd stoppage). I think Andrade has found her niche and weight class, much like Cerrone has done at 170 and quite possibly Pettis has at 145. That said, Joanna Calderwood is very much a formidable opponent. She has credentials against the likes of Casey, and Letourneau, but none of those girls hit near as hard or often as Jessica Andrade (6.58 SPM). Simply put, Andrade is just an animal in the cage and it’s going to be a great female SW fight to watch. I think 9.9k is a not great but reasonable price for Andrade, and I expect myself to have probably 30-35% exposure to her this weekend.
PREDICTION: Jessica Andrade by KO/TKO in Rd 2/3
So there it is, the first ever “Main Event of the Weekend” for the main UFC 203 PPV card, and if you can’t tell I am absolutely psyched for this Saturday. Not just the PPV but I also think there’s some some diamonds in the rough on the under card and prelims, and I’m going to do my best to have those breakdowns and predictions later this afternoon. Thanks for reading guys and feel free to comment or fill up the inbox!